NC State hands top-ranked Duke first loss, 84-76

Posted January 12, 2013

FINAL: NC State 84, Duke 76: 

North Carolina State (14-2, 3-0 ACC) led the entire second half against Duke (15-1, 2-1 ACC) and handed the top-ranked Blue Devils their first loss of the season Saturday, 84-76, at PNC Arena.

The top-ranked Duke Blue Devils play their first true road game of the season on Saturday at 12 p.m. when they make the short trip to Raleigh to take on the 20th-ranked NC State Wolfpack in a key Atlantic Coast Conference showdown.

Mike Krzyzewski's Blue Devils are one of just two unbeatens left in the country, as they have run the table thus far at 15-0. Duke has been atop the polls for a couple of weeks now and earned their sixth straight victory as the top team in the land with Tuesday's 68-40 blasting of Clemson to move to 2-0 in conference play. Duke at N.C. State Inside the Rivalry: Duke vs. NCSU Basketball

While Duke sits at the pinnacle, it was believed to be NC State's year in the ACC prior to the beginning of the campaign. Mark Gottfried's Wolfpack had a couple of early-season lapses against Oklahoma State and Michigan, but have looked the part of conference contender since, winning nine straight games and both its league tilts thus far, knocking off Boston College (78-73) and most recently, Georgia Tech (83-70).

Duke holds a 139-97 advantage in this longstanding rivalry, the most played series in Duke history (236 meetings). The Blue Devils have won three straight and 26 of the last 29 meetings, overall.

Duke was able to post the lopsided win over the Tigers this week, but the victory came at a cost, as forward Ryan Kelly suffered a foot injury in the first half and is now out indefinitely. Quinn Cook erupted in the game for a career-high 27 points. Duke shot just 29 percent from the floor in the first half, but held Clemson to a mere 10 points over the first 20 minutes.

The Blue Devils bounced back after the break, knocking down 72 percent from the floor (18-of-25) to run away with the game. Before his injury, Kelly was able to net 12 points. Star forward Mason Plumlee was limited to just eight points, but he did grab a team-high 13 rebounds. CJ Leslie Fialko: Much to learn from Duke-NCSU matchup

Losing a key contributor like Kelly (13.4 ppg, .521 from 3-point range) would cripple most programs, but Duke has the depth to assuage the loss for awhile. Plumlee has been one of the nation's most dominant low post players this season, converting 61.6 percent of his shots and leading Duke in both scoring (17.7 ppg) and rebounding (11.4 rpg).

Seth Curry provides perimeter balance with 16.0 ppg, shooting over 40 percent from behind the arc. Cook and freshman guard Rasheed Sulaimon add to the scoring depth with 11.4 and 11.2 ppg, respectively. The Blue Devils are averaging 79.3 ppg as a team, and are enjoying a +18.9 scoring margin.

There aren't many teams out there that can match Duke's offensive firepower, but NC State is certainly among the few. The Wolfpack lead the nation in field-goal percentage (.530) and rank 11th in scoring (81.3 ppg). The scoring depth is vast, with five players averaging double figures.

C.J. Leslie is a strong all-around performer, converting 58.1 percent of his shots, and averaging a team-high 15.6 ppg, while grabbing 7.3 rpg. All-American candidate Lorenzo Brown is next and runs the point, with the ability to both score (13.1 ppg) and get others involved (6.7 apg). Richard Howell (12.7 ppg, 9.9 rpg) is the resident muscle down low. T.J. Warren (12.5 ppg), Scott Wood (12.1 ppg) and Rodney Purvis (10.0 ppg) round out the top contributors.

Brown had another superb outing in the win over Georgia Tech, as he posted a double-double with 21 points and 10 assists. Wood hit four 3-pointers and finished with 20 points, while Leslie poured in 19 points. Purvis added 13 to the cause, while Howell brought in a game-high 12 rebounds. NC State was once again ultra-efficient, shooting .509 from the field, including a 7-of-16 showing from behind the arc.

Duke hasn't shown any weaknesses to date, but losing Kelly will affect the team, especially against an NC State squad over-flowing with talented scorers. The Blue Devils aren't going to run the table this year and this one is setting up as perhaps one of the few losses Duke will suffer.


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  • foghat001 Jan 12, 2013

    Congrats, Wolfpack! State and Duke both 1000 times better than Carowhina!

  • TVs_Deceit Jan 12, 2013

    This exceedingly impressive win qualifies for the term "beautiful".

    The Pack not only beat the #1 ranked team in the country, they grew, matured, learned, desired and fought. They executed and experienced what it takes to finish a game over a top team to victory.

    What you saw was a team becoming more than the sum of it's parts. A cohesive unit that functions however necessary to get the job done.

    This success of this win over a #1 team is a substantial dividend in and of itself, however it'll lead to even greater dividends as the season progresses.

    This N.C. State Wolfpack Basketball team has known what they needed to do to go all the way, and now they have finally tasted the sweet nectar of the results of making it happen.

    They know now what they must do, and they will not forget how they did it.

    And they're going to bring it from now on to every game for 40 minutes on the way to victory.

  • dws Jan 12, 2013

    View quoted thread

    whine much?

  • rsmith6120 Jan 12, 2013

    View quoted thread

    I've said this before.. You are a model for sportsmanship!

  • redwolfone Jan 12, 2013

    "Good luck at state kollege. You'll need it."

    NOT! The Big Bad Wolf is Back! Loser.

  • Unc r Hypocrits Jan 12, 2013

    View quoted thread

    Every game has bad calls. You play through them and keep on keeping on. Only the losing team's fans complain about officiating, in my experience.

  • PanthersFan45 Jan 12, 2013

    View quoted thread

    I think that call was made to keep things from getting out of hand. Just prior to that it a scuffle almost broke out at the other end of the floor after Wood committed a foul to obviously make Duke earn the points at the line. as JGunn pointed out, the call really had nothing to do with the outcome of the game, both players picked up fouls and they sat for awhile too because they didn't want to pick up a 3rd in the 1st half. Overall a pretty well officiated game IMHO.

  • Unc r Hypocrits Jan 12, 2013

    View quoted thread

    My wife was worried about me, too! Great mid-season game. Hope we can play with this intensity the rest of the year. My wife said you usually don't see this type of play until tourney time.

  • rherring23 Jan 12, 2013

    View quoted thread

    First, the double technical, yes technical on Wood for talking smack, yes a double technical for slapping Wood in the stomach, guess you didn't see that huh? And as far as a good clean steal, anytime your arm goes between the other player's arm and body, you are going to get called for a foul. You should really quit whinning and watch the replays. I could point out some bad calls against State also. Duke got outplayed, all there is to it.

  • wardjammer22 Jan 12, 2013

    Bring Back the Dixie Clasic! Tabacco road is Alive!!!!!!




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